Medical use of qigong noted

Cinnamon-eating mice have lower blood pressure--this and other medical mysteries explored within.

My colleague Adam Perlman, MD is noted in a local paper for his study of medical use of qigong:

Chi -- the energy -- flows within oneself and is said to have healthful potential if properly cultivated through exercises and breathing routines. If someone's chi is harnessed and released, it's said that energy can generate healing power for certain ailments.

Dr. Adam Perlman of Randolph took interest in the practice when he was younger and exploring martial arts. Later in life, the 41-year-old husband and father noticed a dearth of quality Western research on the topic, even though Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) is widely known and practiced in China.

He and fellow researchers recently published "Effects of external Qigong therapy on osteoarthritis of the knee" in the April 2008 edition of "Clinical Rheumatology." Perlman said it's the first detailed study of its kind on the subject in the United States.

"What we did was because Qigong is used, not uncommonly, certainly in China," Perlman said during a recent interview. "It really has not been tested well in sort of controlled study."

The analysis took place two years earlier at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where Perlman is chairman of the Department of Primary Care and executive director of the UMDNJ-Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

His team analyzed 106 people who had arthritis by dividing them into three groups. Two groups were engaged by Qigong masters who performed the therapy through a series of physical exercises on the patients. The third batch was handed over to someone who knew absolutely nothing about Qigong in order to provide researchers with a control group.

All the patients were blindfolded so they couldn't see the practitioner do his work.

"Either the Qigong master or the sham master, if you will, would come into the room, walk on the body, touch certain areas," Perlman said. "If it was the sham master, (they) taught him how to sound and act the same, but he had no idea how to manipulate chi or his own energy. We wanted the patients not to know whether it was real or fake."

A blog gives solid medical advice about pancreatic cancer, and adds at the end some information about CAM:

Alternative medicine

If you've been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, you may want to try every treatment available to cure your cancer. Many people with cancer turn to complementary and alternative medicine when conventional medicine offers little chance for a cure. No complementary or alternative treatments have been found to treat pancreatic cancer.

But complementary and alternative medicine treatments may help with signs and symptoms you experience due to your cancer or cancer treatments. Talk to your doctor about your options. Examples of options that might help include:

Acupuncture

Massage

Meditation

Relaxation techniques

Consider natural products for help with diabetes issues:

How broccoli fights the disease?

One of the most undesirable consequences of having diabetes is the increased risk of getting heart disease and stroke. In fact people with the disease are at risk, five time over than healthy individuals.

So how broccoli helps? Researchers from the UK, based on the findings of a study suggest that broccoli has the potential to heal the damage done by the disease to heart blood vessels.

Apparently, the green vegetable houses a chemical compound known as sulforaphane, which helps the cause, as it has been found to increase enzymes responsible for protecting blood vessels of the heart in addition to reducing the harmful molecules that cause the damage.

The harmful molecule is called the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), and is present in quantities 3 times more in diabetics than in healthy people. And the helpful component (sulforaphane) found in broccoli, reduces ROS molecules. In fact, it was even found to reverse the increase in ROS due to high blood sugar by 73 per cent. The scientists at the University of Warwick carried out this study published in the Journal, "Diabetes."

How spices can rescue diabetics?

For thousands of years, man has made good use of spices and herbs to add a dash of delight to culinary offerings, but no one knew that the same would be found to be highly potent against diabetes, one day.

While a cure eludes doctors and scientists, Complementary and Alternative medicine (all therapies excluding conventional medicine) might enable the disease management a lot better without any side effects, perhaps.

The researchers at the researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered, that herbs and spices known to be rich in antioxidants, are in addition potent inhibitors of tissue damage and inflammation caused due to high blood sugar levels. These findings have been published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. The paper, identifies extracts from 24 common herbs and spices, which have been studied.

Apparently, when the levels of blood sugar are high it leads to the formation of compounds known as known as advanced glycation end products, or AGE compounds. The compounds in turn trigger the immune system and lead to inflammation and tissue damage that goes along with diabetes and aging.

However, herbs and spices have a high content of phenols, the helpful compounds, which inhibit tissue damage and inflammation. For instance, cloves and cinnamon derive 30 percent and 18 percent of dry weight from phenols. And hence consuming spices has a healing effect. In fact when tried on mice, cinnamon was effective in lowering blood sugar.